Bajesdorp is the – now very soon to be built – first collectively owned and co-operative permanent broedplaats of Amsterdam. We are looking for artists and activists to envision, design and build our future home together! Join us now and start living and/or working there with us from the end of 2023 / beginning of 2024 on.
Past & present
Twenty years ago, our community was formed on a part of the terrain next to the prison commonly known as the Bijlmerbajes. The same houses that were once inhabited by prison-guards, were squatted under the name Bajesdorp. It hosted for decades a community of people that lived and worked there, and organised shows, festivals, sports events, gardening, soup kitchen, etc.
Sadly and despite all resistance, the old houses had to be demolished. A new residential area named Bajes Kwartier has started to appear on the entire terrain of the former Bijlmerbajes.
However, we were able to secure the use of the land so that we can build on it a new, affordable, social, creative and sustainable space (sanctuary, artistic haven) for living and working together.
No individual will be the owner of the building, and not even the collective can sell it. It will be permanent. Therefore this is an activist project against the neoliberal housing market, real estate speculation and gentrification. For this we work together with VrijCoop.
Housing, ateliers (artist work spaces), a café, a theatre and a food forest garden
Almost all residences will be in the (mid-range) social rent levels. Working spaces will be rented out according the CAWA standard (the Amsterdam standard for artist work spaces). Alongside our living and working spaces, we will also create a Volkskantine/café and a theater/music stage on the ground floor of the building. Surrounding the building is a big plot of land that we want to transform into a vegetables garden (permaculture/food forest). We plan to have the building finished in about a year. Until then there is work to be done!
The living units range between 27 and 49 m2. If that seems small, consider that each floor will be over 4.5m high: so the shortage of square meters is compensated with cubic meters. Your space will be delivered ‘casco++’: shell-state, with pipes & wires, and basic kitchen/toilet/shower, and it will need to be turned into your ideal living after the delivery (so put in a floor, finish the walls, interior design). The living units are spread out over the building and each floor is mixed with living units and workspaces. There is communal space on every floor, with shared facilities (toilets, kitchen, balcony).
Estimated rents are between €633 and €1068; one of the units is in the ‘mid-rent range’ (middenhuur); the others are social housing and eligible for rent support (huurtoeslag). Maximum income levels apply.
Note: we will have free parking space for bicycles but not for cars. Metro station Spaklerweg is very closely situated and there is a direct line to Centraal every few minutes.
Our project is for activists and artists, in the widest sense of the terms. Though the living spaces as well as the work ateliers, are officially intended for artists, we are open for any sort of artistic practice and interpretation of the term – yet depending on the housing unit, the (broad) definitions of the municipal atelier committee CAWA might apply. Current members already extensively range in their artistic and activistic practices. They are musicians, theatre makers, community organisers, storytellers, sound artists, film makers, researchers, performers and technicians of the creative scene of Amsterdam.
We want to maintain and expand this diversity, which is not just professionally. We believe that representation is an inspiring and enabling force. We have experienced that diversity offers necessary opportunities to learn and grow and we want to continue on this path, challenging our biases within our project, committed to become an as wide as possible representation of the city of Amsterdam. We welcome applications from people of any age, cultural background, sexuality etc. We envision Bajesdorp the same way as we wish for Amsterdam to be: a safe, accessible and inclusive home base for everyone. Let’s make that a reality together!
Do you want to join us?
Then send us your application, latest by October 30th 2022 to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can submit by email, video or voice message, choose the format you are most comfortable with. Below you will find some information that can give you a better sense of what we find important. It is extensive, as we hope to give a sense of what you’d be getting into. Feel free to elaborate on those and please add your views, comments, needs, expectations and dreams. Why would you like to join Bajesdorp? What are the elements you are looking for in a community? How does living and working in a co-operative broedplaats correlate with your ideals, future plans and aspirations? This will help us discuss all applications fairly. We will keep you informed on the follow-up process, during which you will of course meet us, so that we get a better sense of each other.
We hope to join our voices with people who feel connected to the ideals of making more free space in the city and working along the principles of creativity, solidarity, sustainability and autonomy (together and independent). We are eager to meet you and envision, organise, design and build together.
The period of admitting new members will be short and intense. After receiving your applications, suitable candidates will be expected to be available for a meeting on the 5th or 6th of November. After that you will receive a provisional answer by the 15th of November. If you still want to join us, we will then enter a click-period of one month. Until the 15th of December, old and new members have the time to make up their mind and decide if they want to go forward together with the project.
What it takes to be part of this community and project
It takes time, enthusiasm and patience to be involved in such a group process, where we have regular work or assembly meetings. Additionally, there will be incidental whole workdays or work-weekends planned through the year.
A lot of different types of work are involved in the realisation of a broedplaats: practical, hands-on, technical, social, administrative, planning, communications, and so on. Besides the things you know how to do, there will be a lot of things to be done, that you have no previous experience with. It is important that you enjoy trying out new things. Consider the special talents that you bring along and how you expect to use these in the process, and mention them in your application.
Financial and time obligations:
All participants, after a mutual trial period, will be required to loan an interest-free amount of €5000 to the project. That is necessary for the financing and maintenance of the project. If you can afford to loan more, you will make it possible for another new member to commit to a lower amount. The amount will be returned in full to each member, after they move out of the project/building.
Realising and operating a new building, by and for a community, is an intense and demanding process. For that reason, we are looking for active and contributing members who share the core values as described above, and who are willing and have the capacity to invest some of their time and capital in this special project. We know that both these can be a privilege for many and we are committed to finding ways, through solidarity and exchange, to keep our community as open and inclusive as possible.
As mentioned above, we like to house a broad variety of what it means to be an artist. For some housing units, the standards of the municipal atelier committee CAWA apply. Indicate in your application whether you have been checked for this, and if not, whether you expect to be eligible. See: https://www.amsterdam.nl/kunst-cultuur/ateliers/voorwaarden/
In whatever form – letter, email, voice message, video – please reflect in your application on the matters mentioned above. Feel free to send us a CV, links to your work or portfolio, we are also curious about your artistic work and will help us get a better feel before we meet. Have any questions for us? Please contact us at the emails or numbers below:
please send your application to email@example.com
phone number for (voice) messages: ask for the phone number via firstname.lastname@example.org